Singapore Model Parliament (SMP)
The SMP is REACH’s flagship youth programme, and it made a big comeback this October with 110 youths from junior colleges, polytechnics, universities, Institutes of Technical Education, and even national service converging in Parliament House for a rigorous debate on issues close to their hearts, such as gender equality, intergenerational inclusivity, education, income inequality and social integration of foreigners. Prior to the debate, the participants also spent a weekend learning about Singapore’s parliamentary system, the process of policymaking, and in-depth discussions with political office holders. 

REACH Deputy Chair Senior Parliamentary Secretary Rahayu Mahzam got up close and personal with SMP participants and shared her experiences as a member of parliament.

Participants stepped into the shoes of members of parliament and participated in mock parliamentary debates. During debates, participants put forth novel proposals to tackle a wide range of public policy challenges.

REACH Deputy Chair Senior Parliamentary Secretary Eric Chua opened the debates on the third and final day of SMP. In the spirit of SMP’s theme #YouthMatters, debate topics were decided on by the participants themselves.

REACH-Varsity Voices Collaboration
This year, REACH continues to work closely with our partner Varsity Voices, a university network through which students engage critically with public affairs through open dialogue with government and policymakers. REACH and Varsity Voices organised dialogues for tertiary students on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, navigating change and continuity in a post-pandemic world, and geo-political and geo-economical challenges facing Singapore. 

At the inaugural Varsity Voices Fireside Chat, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam shared with participants his assessment of “Challenges Facing Singapore”, and took questions on social cohesion, national security and governance in Singapore. 

Friendzone Out-of-Office Series
Being a youth in the workforce can be challenging! From August to October, REACH collaborated with NTUC and Friendzone SG on an “Out-of-Office” series of engagements, where youth could meet others who worked in their sector, build friendships, and share strategies to thrive at work. This is the second REACH x Friendzone series, with the first focusing on youth aspirations. 

REACH Deputy Chair Patrick Tay enjoying a conversation with participants of the Friendzone Out Of Office session for youth in Tech. 

Listening Points – JCs and Polytechnics 
In July, REACH conducted a series of Listening Points on youth aspirations and the Forward SG exercise with students and staff of 2 junior colleges and 3 polytechnics. Participants shared their hopes and concerns for the future in areas such as jobs and career opportunities, education, and the cost of living. 

REACH went down to Raffles Institution and Nanyang JC to spread joy and collect views from students and staff.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic gave the REACH Listening Point booth a warm welcome and their thoughts on school and the future.

Members of the Nanyang Polytechnic community shared their hopes and concerns about the future and enjoyed a coffee on us.

Adulting 101 series
‘Adulting 101’ Conversations engage youths who are entering the workforce on Whole-of-Government issues. Through dialogues organised in partnership with institutes of higher learning, participating youth had frank and honest discussions with political office holders and grassroots advisors on topics such as education, jobs, housing, and mental health.

Grassroots Advisor Darryl David and REACH Deputy Chair Senior Parliamentary Secretary Rahayu Mahzam spoke with students at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art. The session was moderated by REACH Supervisory Panel member and NAFA Alumni Gavin Girish Rozario.

Mental Health Collective
REACH collaborated with youth-for-youth ground-up organisation the Mental Health Collective (MHC) on a series of three conversations on youth mental-wellbeing and an art exhibition.
 
The MHC conversations, organised in partnership with REACH, included a panel discussion which brought together youths, educators, and organisations to share best practices and resources for supporting the mental well-being of students. 

The art exhibition – The Artist’s Residency – held its first run at National Library Building from December 2021 to February 2022. It featured the words of artists living with mental health conditions and students. Visitors could also learn more about youths’ perceptions on mental well-being at a dedicated wall curated by REACH. The wall features the voices of youths who shared their feelings with REACH through a series of youth engagements REACH conducted over the course of the year.

REACH Chairman attended the launch of The Artist’s Residency and was presented with a photobook titled “Our Book of Hope”, illustrated by Yang Kaiwen with poems by Foo Choon Ean.

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